A Seed Planted—Sprouts! and Unexpired Dreams
I wasn’t in the mood for an omelet or oatmeal this morning. I settled on fruit and coffee, more specifically---a pear and a banana. I’ve rediscovered my love of pears lately, oh wow, they’re so good! By the time lunch rolled around, I still wasn’t in the mood to cook---so I stepped out and bought a Subway sandwich at the shop less than three blocks from my apartment.
If you’ve read every single day here, then maybe you remember me giving my blog address to a young man that reminded me of me. It was February 2009—and I can’t find the specific day to save my life. But I remember giving my blog address to a security guard and asking him to deliver it to this young man. The young man was working, and I was there probably doing a broadcast, and when he had a break---we visited for several minutes about our weight issues. I no longer approach people like this. It’s just not a good practice. If someone reaches out to me, I’ll do what I can to help---and I’ll share, but only if they ask.
Well---tonight I checked my e-mail and found the most wonderful message from that young man. I haven’t heard from him since we first met---so imagine my elation when I opened up this email:
We met at the Tonkawa Casino probably a year ago this past February. You had a security guard give me a note with the blog address on it. At first I was furious, But I got to thinking, You and I were pretty big guys, so just maybe you had lost some weight and knew some secrets about how to get the job done. so I went home and logged on. Your Blog is awesome, and should be published as inspirational materials for people like me. At the time we met I weighed 540. I had just lost 30 pounds. I had just fought off 5 months of pneumonia and broncitis. Plus I had quit smoking "cold turkey" after 10 years. Well a lot has changed since then. I am now 600ish. I take several daily pills. I have carried that blog address in my wallet since then. Then just last week I heard your name mentioned on the radio for the lose to win in 2010, and that you had lost 250 pounds. I got on your blog tonight and saw the before and after pics. I have to tell you, I would not have ever have recognized you now. You look just awesome. A can only hope to look as good and healthy as you do, GOOD FOR YOU. I would like to participate in the lose to win because I could get rid of about 400 lbs or so, but I didn't catch when the weigh in is. If you could let me know I would really appreciate it.. If I missed it, I have scales that go to 750lbs. Please drop me a line, You are inspiring me to take back control of my life. I look forward to hearing from you.
Whatever was dragging me down today was immediately lifted while reading this e-mail. I was so happy for this young man. He carried that address in his wallet for over a year, wow! This is what it’s all about my friend! This is it---taking back control of your life! Living---and experiencing freedom from morbid obesity---it’s an amazing—life changing thing. I’m so happy for this guy. (As of this writing---Cathy Cole, the director of the “Lose To Win” program called and told me that the young man did show up and he has officially joined this weight loss program.) I couldn’t be more thrilled!!
I traveled back into the archives to exactly one year ago today and found something that means a bunch to me. Here’s an excerpt from May 2nd, 2009:
Dreams haven't an expiration date my friend. It is never too late to begin. Remember that time keeps moving regardless of what you do or don't do. Too much time I wasted depressed over lost time. Does that even make sense? Spending even more time being depressed over wasting time. I've often thought about how I wasted my 20's being anywhere from 470 to 510 pounds. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that my entire 20's was bad. I'm talking about my weight. I spent the first six and a half years of my 30's upset with myself for wasting my 20's. If I just would have lost the weight before age 25, my life would be so much better now. Thoughts like that may be true, but spending six and a half years wishing I would have done something about it in my 20's was the most counterproductive thing I could have done. Had I gone another few years at over 500 pounds, I could have spent the first three years of my 40's upset with myself for wasting my 30's. I say only three years, because I really doubt I would have lived much longer then that at over 500 pounds. Now is the time, today, right this second. Not next Monday, or after the holidays, or after that big project at work is complete. Now is the time. Because something I've learned the hard way is: There's never a good time to start if you allow yourself to explore every excuse that could keep you. I could always find a good reason why it wasn't a good idea to get started. I stopped making excuses on September 15th, 2008, and look where it's put me today.
I took a nice bike ride in the beautiful spring sunshine today---it was so incredibly beautiful! This is fun…a “playout” not a “workout,” for sure! I really don’t know how far I rode around. But I was out there nearly an hour, constantly riding. I was honked at by what I thought was someone telling me to get out of the way---it wasn’t, it was my friend Brad saying “hey!” He rolled down his window and told me I looked like I belonged on that bike. That was a very cool thing to say, because I still feel a little awkward out in public on that thing. I love it though, I do---and tomorrow I’m installing a bigger and better padded seat, given to me by another friend. I think it will make my biking time even more enjoyable!
I do love my George Foreman Grill---oh wow, how did I ever live without this thing? I took a frozen chicken breast and some frozen shrimp---plugged it in, seasoned with pepper---shut it down, and ten minutes later…walla! Done! It was incredible. I opened a can of green beans and enjoyed them without an added 60 calories of melted white American cheese. That’s big for me---leaving the green beans without cheese…Huge…I’ve been eating them with cheese since I was a kid! I bought some asparagus at the store the other night and it’s still sitting in my fridge in the bag. I need to make myself grill it up and give it another try. I received wonderful suggestions for preparing asparagus, so I’ll go back and check that out---I may do that tomorrow!
I found an interesting comment from Brian on yesterday’s post. Brian writes:
Sean, I'll be honest here, I think you need to take an honest look at the last 6 months of your life, and specifically your weight loss journey, and do some hard soul searching about what has changed with that.
Go back to November 1st, or the first weigh in after that, and you were at 278 pounds. 6 months later you're at 257.
One way to look at that is to go, good, I'm still on the right track, I'm still losing. And that is a good thing. But another thing to consider is this....that averages out to about 3 pounds...a month.
I sorta stumbled across your blog around that time and have been reading it since then. I had decided that after a couple years of depression following a difficult divorce and some other personal issues. After being disgusted with myself for putting on 100 extra pounds I decided to clean my shit up and get the problem fixed. I started in November 22 pounds heavier than you were at the time, and at this point....I'm 57 pounds lighter than you.
I'm not encouraging calender regret (as you like to put it), but I'm suggesting you seriously look at what you're doing different, because if you were placing a high level of importance on getting to your goal weight, you'd have been there 2 or 3 months ago.
Brian, you’re right---I could use an evaluation of how I can make this body respond better in a more efficient way. Less calories? More calories? More intense exercise? Strategic eating to enhance my metabolism and productivity of my weight training? Yes, yes, yes! With that said…
I don’t think you intended anything negative with your analysis of my last six months, so let me say: Congratulations on your wonderful success! And remember---each of our journeys are different---and one success isn’t better than another based solely on number of pounds lost. My 248 pounds is another persons 50, 75, or 100---it’s all relative and unique for each person. As for me---I lost 119 pounds in the first five months and by day 365 I had lost 212 pounds total. I had lost 227 pounds by November and even though it started to slow dramatically, I was still going downward. Yes it has been slow, very slow. In this time period, I hit a couple of stalls and have even had two gains. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. This is my lifestyle forever---it was never a race to lose weight. Have I slacked in the exercise department? Yes---I’ve been very open about that. I even upped my calories over the last few months without doing too much extra activity. But I certainly have zero calendar regret in this regard. The only calendar regret I might have is not getting committed to a weight-training plan sooner. But even that doesn’t bother me much anymore. After losing 248 pounds I feel better than I ever have in my entire life. And the choices and changes that have developed in me are changes and choices that I can live with forever…not just until I hit goal. Will I hit goal? Yes I will—but when I do isn’t as important as knowing that what I’m doing is something I can do for as long as I live. My best to you and I bet you feel and look better than ever!
This has been a busy weekend. I received some wonderful fashion advice in my e-mail inbox after posting the Poncan Opry picture from last night. Thank you for reading! It’s weight training and spinning class at the YMCA tomorrow! Goodnight and…